When purchasing or selling a home it’s important to learn as much about the condition of the home as possible. A qualified Home Inspector can help provide the information you need to make informed decisions, before moving forward with the transaction.
Most buyers will insist on a pre-purchase inspection before committing to a purchase.
From a seller's perspective, a pre-listing inspection can help prepare them, addressing specific conditions before they show up on the buyer's Home Inspection report. No one likes surprises, or a laundry list of repairs to deal with at the 11th hour, before a deal closes.
Here’s a list of common conditions a Home Inspector might find when inspecting a home.
Poor lot grading:
Lot grading is an integral part of your home's water drainage system. It should provide good drainage away from the home and adjacent properties.
Poor lot grading can cause water to collect near the home and can be a contributing factor to damp basements and water intrusion. There are many practices and lot configurations used to provide adequate drainage. Ideally, the grade of the soil should slope away from the home.
Roof gutters and downspouts work hand in hand with lot grading, helping to minimize the risk of water intrusion and basement leakage. Downspouts should be directed away from the home and should extend far enough to keep water away from the perimeter and the foundation.
BONUS TIP: Be sure to keep your gutters free from debris, so the drainage system can perform its intended function.
Heating/air conditioning maintenance:
Well-maintained heating and air conditioning systems should run more efficiently, and last longer, before requiring replacement. Be sure to check furnace filters monthly, and replace or clean as needed. Inspect the exterior air conditioning unit from time to time to ensure the unit is free from debris or obstructions that can impede proper air flow. The unit should be level and refrigerant line insulation should be in good repair.
Obtaining a service plan from a reputable company can help provide peace of mind, if a system is no longer under warranty. Improper installation, aging components and clogged or leaking condensate drains are also common findings.
Caulking around windows, doors and intersections of different material should be inspected from time to time and maintained where in poor condition. Painted surfaces should also be inspected and maintained in this manner. Look for exposed wood, peeling paint, gaps in siding, windows or doors. It's also a good idea to look near penetrations such as exhaust vents or where air conditioning lines penetrate the exterior of the home.
Regular maintenance of caulking and painting of the home’s exterior is important to keep your home in good condition and prevent water penetration and related damage.
Plumbing leaks and aging distribution piping are common findings that can easily be caught before disaster strikes. Brittle rubber hoses for washing machines, rusty supply piping to kitchen and bathroom sinks and leaking toilet flanges often go unnoticed before it’s too late.
If you see bulging or cracked rubber hoses, rust or water staining, you may want to have a qualified professional have a closer look. Regular inspection might just give you some advance notice of an impending leak. Basins or tubs slow-to drain, leaky fixtures and gurgling plumbing vent pipes are also common.
Ineffective kitchen/bathroom ventilation:
Bathrooms can generate a significant amount of humidity. It’s important to vent the warm, moist air outdoors in order to keep humidity levels in the home acceptable. An easy test to see if your bathroom exhaust fan is up to the job, is to take a square of toilet paper and place it against the fan's vent while it is operating. If the fan holds the paper square, the fan is providing adequate suction.
Many kitchen exhaust fans do not vent outdoors. It’s not always possible depending on the design of the kitchen. If the range hood exhaust fan is vented outdoors, it should also provide adequate suction to move the warm moist air and odours outdoors. This will improve air quality and remove humidity.
BONUS TIP: Make sure your dryer is vented to the outdoors and the vent ducting is as straight as possible and not obstructed.
“Moisture is continually being released inside every home: 10 to 50 litres (2 to 10 gallons) every day.” -CMHC.
Check out this excellent CMHC article to learn more about moisture and air quality in the home.
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Phil Goldsmith - Owner, Home Inspector
Cardinal & Keys Home Inspections
Serving the Greater Ottawa Area